The mission of The Tobin Center, a local non-profit arts organization, is to provide a world-class venue that promotes a diverse range of cultural, educational, and artistic experiences that improve the quality of life in San Antonio.
AN INCREDIBLY POWERFUL VISION
We have needed this for a long time. A versatile, world-class performing arts facility for the nation’s seventh-largest city. A center where our school children receive specialized education opportunities and exposure to extraordinary performances. A new magnet for downtown revitalization, located on the River Walk leading up to the new Museum Reach. And finally, a much-needed home where our resident performing arts groups can grow and thrive.
Situated along the banks of the River in the city’s heart, the historic Municipal Auditorium, with its original facade preserved, has been transformed into a world-class venue. This theatrical icon is once again the pride of the River and a shining beacon of creativity, fine art, and downtown development. There is no better place — anywhere — to see and hear a live performance.
The Tobin Center features a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose 1,750 seat (2,039 seats... with flat-floor configuration) H-E-B Performance Hall (both including balcony boxes in the count), a 232 seat (or 249, 266, 293, or 300 – depending on the number of additional rows added in front of the stage) Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater, and the outdoor Will Naylor Smith plaza connected to the River Walk with a permanent 32 FT video wall and water taxi portal.
The remarkable flexibility of the 1,750 seat H-E-B Performance Hall, with its distinctive “flat-floor” capability, opens the door for performances and events of almost any sort. The acoustics in the Hall can be “tuned” to fit the performance and the physical set-up of the hall, and the sound insulation throughout The Tobin Center also enables simultaneous use of the Performance Hall, the Studio Theater, and the 600-seat River Walk Plaza.
Bexar County voters agreed overwhelmingly, approving $100 million in construction bonds in May 2008. The City of San Antonio followed by contributing the Municipal Auditorium and adjacent Fire Department Headquarters building – valued altogether at $41 million.
The Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation – formed to own and operate the new facility – committed to raising $54 million from the private sector. The Tobin Endowment made a $15 million challenge grant, and that challenge has been met, with well over $39 million in private funds already committed.